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ERIC Number: EJ852514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0958-3440
The Additional Uses of CALL in the Endangered Language Context
Ward, Monica
ReCALL, v16 n2 p345-359 Nov 2004
This paper considers the additional uses of CALL in the Endangered Language (EL) context. It briefly reviews ELs and reports on CALL for ELs in general. It then reviews the extra uses of CALL for ELs; these include changing negative attitudes towards the language, arousing interest in the language and contributing to language maintenance and documentation. In order to demonstrate the benefits of CALL for an EL, three examples are presented. Each of the ELs discussed in this paper could be considered to be on a different scale on the Fishman (1991) Scale for an EL. The first CALL application discussed is a program for Irish for primary school children. Irish is a Celtic language and is only regularly used by about 10,000 speakers in Ireland. The main aim of the program was to try to increase the children's motivation to study Irish, which is a compulsory subject in schools in Ireland. The second application is a literacy program for Tojolab'al, a Mayan language spoken in Chiapas, Mexico. Tojolab'al could be considered to be a relatively stable language (30,000-40,000 speakers out of an ethnic population of about 80,000 people), but it has very few literate speakers. The idea of this project was to develop CALL courseware to teach literacy, beginning with the letters and then progressing to words and phrases. The third example is CALL courseware for Nawat, an Uto-Aztecan language of El Salvador. The remaining 150 speakers of Nawat are mainly elderly and illiterate and this courseware aimed to document and develop courseware for the language, while the remaining speakers were still alive. The paper concludes with lessons learnt for ELs in general from these three specific examples. It surmises that despite the difficulties involved in the CALL for EL context, if a pragmatic approach is adopted, CALL materials can have positive social benefits, which probably outweigh its contribution to language learning in the short-term. The effort involved in CALL for ELs is definitely worthwhile.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education; Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: El Salvador; Ireland; Mexico